Interview with Camellia Chan, Founder and CEO at AI Cyber Secure SSD X-PHY: A Flexxon BrandDana Leighon January 14, 2022 at 11:00 TechRound

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I founded Flexxon in 2007 and now we’re a leading NAND flash storage solutions provider. Flexxon specialises in standard or customised products and solutions to serve a wide spectrum of industries with a key focus on Cybersecurity, Industrial, Medical, and Automotive (CIMA) applications. We are headquartered in Singapore but operate across the globe and have worked with more than a hundred clients all over the world, delivering high performance and reliable products that serve as a custodian to their critical data.

With our knowledge and expertise in NAND technology, this spurred us on to develop our latest innovation – X-PHY. It has dynamic cybersecurity capabilities embedded at the firmware level, which can learn, adapt and evolve through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. It is the world’s first AI embedded data security SSD (solid-state drive) designed to deliver real-time protection against cyber threats. As the rate of cybercrime has continued to rise, strong and efficient protection solutions are more necessary than ever.
 
 

 

What is the drive behind X-PHY and what role do you play in this?

 
As tech continues to evolve, so do the tactics of cybercriminals, and, therefore, the risk of cybersecurity breaches heightens. For business and individuals alike, this is hugely daunting. X-PHY is designed to provide ultimate data protection and overcome the challenges in traditional cybersecurity efforts, which can rely on passwords and anti-virus software alone.

It does so by employing low-level AI programming that analyses data and makes intelligent decisions regarding access patterns. This AI programming within the firmware of the SSD is more robust than typical anti-virus software which requires human intervention. Indeed, a big driver for us is taking human error out of the cybersecurity equation. A staggering 95% of cyber-attacks are reported to be the result of human error which is due to people constantly having to update software patches, ensure they don’t download phishing emails, tweak software configurations and allow or disallow threats whenever there is an alert shown by anti-virus.

On the other hand, with X-PHY technology, organisations can detect anomalies in regular data access patterns, such as ransomware attacks and data cloning, and deploy hardware sensors to fend off cyber threats. Businesses of all disciplines need tools with a “zero-trust” framework, allowing it to track every single touch point in order to truly bolster defences.

We possess such rich R&D capability and talent and we have innovated and designed the solution architecture of the X-PHY, conceptualising the solution prototype, architecture framework and AI defence methodology to address the gap we spotted in the market. Our work has so far seen four patents granted.

My role as the Founder and CEO is to oversee the development of our AI-augmented cybersecurity technology and make it accessible on a large-scale to organisations and regular consumers.

That’s why Lenovo collaborated with us to integrate our SSDs into its world-class laptop solutions. These laptops are benefiting from X-PHY’s zero-trust security framework and 24/7 real-time protection to data stored within the drive. In doing so, we are providing leading companies and digital citizens with appropriate cybersecurity protection, lessening the risk of a whole range of attacks from ransomware to physical attacks.
 

 

What advice would you to other aspiring founders/ leaders?

 
At Flexxon, the organisation is cultivated with the idea of the ‘3 Cs’.

The first is culture. We need to cultivate a culture of possessing initiative and bringing value to the company and customers. There is no such thing as a mistake as long as they are rectified and you learn. This allows individuals to have a growth mindset.

The second is competency. Flexxon inspires constant learning, creation and innovation to make us more competent as a whole. So, we encourage entrepreneurship where any good ideas are rewarded. This ensures people want to and can provide their full potential. Placing the right people in the right places is a crucial way to maximise success.

Lastly, collaboration. Understanding and leveraging on individual strength can help to cultivate good teamwork. By encouraging collaboration as the norm, we increase our potential for success.

Externally, we emphasise collaboration with both public and private sectors to share our expertise and intelligence to contribute to innovative solutions in the ever-evolving technological ecosystem. As a leader, having the ability to continuously evolve is no longer a nice to have, it is the key to survival. Leaders have to be more innovative than ever in order to understand threats and covert them into opportunities. Here at Flexxon, we never stop evolving and transforming our business model and strategies, be it our IPO or having patented innovation. We view every crisis as an opportunity to grow and this is what will allow us to make our mark in the cybersecurity space.
 

What is Flexxon working on and what can we hope to see in the future?

 
Currently, Flexxon is working on developing other hardware devices that will house the X-PHY SSD as its core. Examples of these devices are PCs, servers and even portable Network-attached storage (NAS) that will act as an all-in-one solution that provides holistic protection from the hardware for day-to-day users. This extends to security coverage in other areas such as cloud security and localised network exchanges, including edge AI computing.

In the near future, we will be building a holistic cyber defence ecosystem. Our aim is to shift from product to service-centric business. So, instead of just supporting the endpoint security, we can offer a full suite of cybersecurity infrastructure and also develop a management console to allow security personnel to manage the everything with ease. This transformation will enable X-PHY to get into the cybersecurity ecosystem and make the business more scalable. The key to success is to stay ahead of the trends.

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